The legacy of service that Bill and Rose Abbot set in place in the 1970’s in Hopkinton is alive and well at our farms in North Grafton and Harvard. It is in that spirit that our Volunteer Team Leaders continue to serve and lead our volunteer groups in activities at our farms. We could not do the work that we do to support the hunger relief network without the commitment and dedication of this mighty force. Last year 58 of our best volunteers served in the role of Team Leader allowing us to continue an exceptional experience for all at our farms. We stand in awe of this group and all that they do in order to support our mission.
We attract a diverse group of Team Leaders ranging from high school students to retirees and are always happy to have new volunteers join this group. Some stay with us for a couple of seasons while others are here for the long run. We have three Team Leaders that have stuck with us and are now counting their years of service in the teens. Bob Dascanio originally got involved in 2002 when St. Mary’s Ministry was responsible for supervising at the farm on every third Saturday. With 15 years of service under his belt he is always waiting for the spring thaw to get back out to the farm. He even can be counted on to volunteer for special events and makes it a family affair with his wife Jo by his side. Bob’s favorite memory is the time he worked with the freshman class from St. John’s High when they set the farm record for the most pounds of produce harvested in one day. He says that he keeps coming back because the organization is superb and focused on the mission and enjoys working with the teams of children and adults. Even when he is not on the farm Bob is a big supporter by introducing other people to the farm and connecting us with supporters.
Speaking of family affair, Laura and Jim Coughlin are right behind Bob with 14 years of service at CHP. They landed here after meeting our former Executive Director Amy Navin, her energy about our work got them interested and they started volunteering They feel that by providing nutritious foods to people with food access issues, we are helping to improve our nation’s health in current and next generations. They continue to volunteer at CHP because they believe that obesity is one of our nation’s biggest healthcare issues and it has a direct correlation to our diet. Their favorite memory from the farm is working with their own children at the farm and teaching them to pay it forward. They also use this thought process to help us advance our mission and are strong supporters of our work.
We are grateful to have Team Leaders like Bob, Laura and Jim in our midst and would like to thank them for their combined 43 years of service. Our team is stronger because of them and we appreciate all that they do to support the cause.